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Open air beer and wine garden nears completion in downtown Paris

107_3An open air beer and wine garden is scheduled to open soon at 107 Grand Ave., just one building west of the southwest corner of the Plaza in downtown Paris.

It will be owned and operated by Bret and Sherrie Holbert, former owners of the 24th Street Cafe.

The building — long vacant and at one time a candidate for demolition — has been under extensive renovation in recent weeks.

Cheri Bedford, Paris Main Street Coordinator, cheered the news.

“A building that has been an eyesore for downtown is welcoming a new business,” she exclaimed.

The name of the beer and wine garden will be simply “107″ — for its address, 107 Grand Ave.

“We hope to be open in time for downtown Christmas festivities,” Bret Holbert told eParisExtra.

“We’ll have a food menu along with that which will feature small plates, upscale bar food, things like that. Also, we have a proprietary blend of coffee that will be sold there that will be made just for us,” Holbert said.

“We’ll have a selection of beer and wine. And of course, we’ll offer soft drinks and tea and things like that.”

“Included in the business is another business — custom fire glazed hams. We’ll take orders for custom glazed hams, and in fact, we’re already taking orders for them,” Holbert said.

Anyone interested may place an order at 903.517.1245.

107_2The Holberts took what some might consider a lemon, and turned it into lemonade.

“When we bought the building, the roof had caved in, and we gutted the building,” Holbert said.

“We did an engineering study and secured the exterior walls with metal trusses, things like that,” Holbert said, to assure that the building can withstand any kind of weather problems, even without a roof.

Along with the roof, a portion of the back wall was also removed, and steel beams were installed recently to insure the integrity of the building.

Without a roof the building will remain, except that there will be a cover over the kitchen, serving area and restrooms. There will be some covered seating areas, but everything outside the kitchen and serving area will be open air.

“We’ll have umbrella tables and things like that. We’re fully aware that we’ll be subject to the weather, but that’s OK. When we talk about open air, that’s all within the building still.”

The beer and wine garden will have a seating capacity of somewhere between 60 and 80 people, Holbert said, which is approximately what the 24th Street Cafe accommodated.

107_1“It’ll be pretty close to that in terms of seating capacity. Obviously, there’ll be room for people to mill around and stand and things like that.”

A structural assessment on the building was ordered in 2011 to determine the status of the property and make sure it was not a danger to the public, Bedford said.

The funds to pay for the assessment were from a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation secured by the City of Paris and Main Street program.

“The current owners who purchased this property were given a copy of this report and they were very aware of the back wall’s structural integrity,” Bedford said.

“The new owners are extremely excited about their business, love the historic district,” she added.

“They have taken advantage of façade renderings from the Texas Main Street Program, received a façade grant from the Historic Preservation Commission, and are glad to be a part of all the exciting things that are happening in downtown.”

Bedford called “107″ a success story that has taken many partnerships to accomplish.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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